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Warning Over Birmingham Hip Modular Head (BHMH)… | Stuff.co.nz.

Warning over metal hip implant


Last updated 19:48 03/10/2012

New Zealand surgeons have been alerted that a fourth metal-on-metal hip implant is no longer recommended for use after international data showed failures were exceeding the recommended rate.

UK Company Smith and Nephew said its Birmingham Hip Modular Head (BHMH), was no longer recommended for total hip replacement surgery. It is the second hip implant made by Smith and Nephew to come with a warning.

Earl’s comment – this is the hip they gave me!!!! 

Worldwide action has already been taken to limit the use of three other four metal-on-metal implants – De Puy ASR, the Mitch TR and the Smith and Nephew R3.

Smith and Nephew raised the latest alarm after joint registries in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia reported the BHMH model was returning higher revision rates than other orthopaedic implants.

The Health Ministry said New Zealand joint registry records showed that of the 468 BHH implants supplied to New Zealand, 396 had been registered for use in total hip replacements.

It is not known whether all of those had already in fact been used, but metal-on-metal implants only represented a fraction of the total number of implants used in New Zealand in the past decade.

The BHMH model was first used in New Zealand in 2005.

Since 2002, metal implants accounted for only 8 per cent of all hip implants used.

Figures showed the four implants that have been found unreliable represented less than 1.7 per cent of the nearly 71,000 hip replacements carried out in New Zealand since 2001.

Drug and medical device safety authority Medsafe said Smith and Nephew was contacting surgeons in New Zealand to notify them of the alert and were asking surgeons to contact affected patients.

Patients who had received one of the implants would need greater monitoring.

Medsafe group manager Dr Stewart Jessamine said many patients with the implants would face no problems.

“The alert does not mean patients with the implant will necessarily require revision surgery, however, as a precaution patients with this implant will be followed up more frequently by their doctor.

“If patients experience any discomfort or pain they should see their GP or surgeon as they normally would following any surgery on a joint,” he said.

Medsafe would also follow-up with the New Zealand suppliers to ensure specialists had been contacted and patients were notified.

The Health Ministry said there was a higher reporting rate of incidents with this particular model in New Zealand than in other countries because there was a relatively small number of patients treated with the device here.

The alert did not affect Birmingham hip resurfacing implants which figures showed were performing as expected.